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August 10, 2013

Cousins, Bennett lead Sooners to 84-66 victory over Waregem

RONSE, Belgium -- For the second straight night, a pair of Sooners reached the 20-point mark to help the Oklahoma men's basketball team to an exhibition win in Europe.

Sophomore guard Isaiah Cousins netted a game-high 23 points and junior forward D.J. Bennett contributed 20 points off the bench in OU's comfortable 84-66 victory over Belgian semi-pro foe Waregem inside Rosco Arena in Ronse, Belgium.

HD: Sooners beat Waregem 84-66

Cousins got off to a strong start and kept his foot on the gas all night. The Mount Vernon, N.Y., product was 7-for-9 from the field in the first half and finished 11-for-15 while adding two assists and three steals. The most points he scored in a game during his 2012-13 freshman season was 10.

The lanky 6-9 Bennett was also consistently effective in the game, scoring 10 points and grabbing four boards in each half. He finished 7-for-10 from the floor and 6-for-9 from the foul line.

Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger seemed especially pleased by the fact it appears he has several legitimate scoring options. So far through two exhibition games, eight different players have produced at least 14 points in a contest.

"It's good to see," he said. "It's not like we have to rely on one guy, who, if he has an off night it's going to be tough. Other guys can pick up the slack and I think we're going to see pretty balanced scoring."

Sophomore guard Je'lon Hornbeak finished with 16 points on 5-for-7 shooting (3-for-4 from 3-point range). He scored 14 of his 16 in the second quarter to help OU take a 51-33 halftime lead. Hornbeak, who did not attempt a shot in the second half, added three assists and four steals on the night. He has eight steals in the team's two games.

OU erupted for 34 second-quarter points while limiting Waregem to 15. The Sooners took their largest lead (72-48) with 45 seconds left in third period. They were still up by 23 with 2:55 remaining in the game before Waregem scored the final five points.

The Sooners were a menace on the defensive end, forcing 25 turnovers. They committed 14.

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